Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

500,000 years of solar irradiance, climate and vegetation changes

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Incoming solar irradiance ultimately governs the amount of energy within the Earth’s system. Our understanding of how solar irradiance is modulated by the Earth’s orbital pathway underpins our understanding of long-term (>10,000 year) global climate and vegetation change through the geological record. However, there is no independent long-term record empirical record of solar irradiance on timescales >10,000 years. This project generate the first record of solar irradiance change at the Earth’s surface by applying cutting-edge organic geochemical techniques to a unique tropical record of past vegetation change. This work involves collaboration with other leading researchers : Dr Will Gosling (The Open University), Dr Barry Lomax (University of Nottingham), and a number of key research institutions: Imperial College London, University of Oxford, University of Texas, and the Forestry Research Institute of Ghana. In addition, this project will have a Postdoctoral Researcher and a PhD student working on closely-related areas of research.